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ISSN: 2155-6121

Journal of Allergy & Therapy
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Research Article

Nurses' Perspectives on Compassionate Care for Patients with Exacerbated Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Marit Kvangarsnes1,2*, Henny Torheim1,2, Torstein Hole3,4 and Paul Crawford5,6

1Aalesund University College, Aalesund, Norway

2Helse Møre og Romsdal, Norway

3Medical Clinic, Helse Møre og Romsdal, Norway

4Medical Faculty, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway

5Professor of Health Humanities at the School of Health Sciences at The University of Nottingham, UK

6Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Mental Health, UK

*Corresponding Author:
Marit Kvangarsnes
Associate Professor
Faculty of Health Sciences Aalesund University College
Aalesund, Norway
Tel: +47 99400695
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: October 10, 2013; Accepted date: December 11, 2013; Published date: December 16, 2013

Citation: Kvangarsnes M, Torheim H, Hole T, Crawford P (2013) Nurses’ Perspectives on Compassionate Care for Patients with Exacerbated Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. J Allergy Ther 4:158. doi: 10.4172/2155-6121.1000158

Copyright: © 2013 Kvangarsnes M, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


The aim of the study was to gain insight into intensive care nurses’ perspectives on compassionate care for patients with exacerbated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Patients who experience acute exacerbation are vulnerable because they experience a life-threatening situation and are wholly dependent on health-care interventions to relieve breathlessness. A hermeneutic phenomenological approach was used. Three focus group interviews with intensive-care nurses were conducted at two hospitals in western Norway in the autumn of 2009. One group had five participants, and two groups had six participants each (N=17). A collaborative practice was regarded as essential to provide compassionate care in these situations. Three main themes emerged from the data: (a) preparing to care for breathlessness; (b) establishing a trusting relationship; (c) to approach each patient as a person with unique needs. These were experienced as important in rendering compassionate care for patients with exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The study showed that compassionate care involves interventions at different levels with particular attention to simple comforting care and technical adjustments. The study also showed a need for enhanced multidisciplinary cooperation in planning the subsequent clinical pathway.


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